DROOPYS GOLD led home defending champion Sporting Dave for a famous 1-2 for Seamus Cahill in Thursday’s Coral Sussex Cup Final at Hove.

Breaking smartly inside, the Schilly Money Syndicate-owned Droopys Gold was soon in charge, although kennelmate Sporting Dave was also well away and paced up to join issue at the bend – as the Cahill duo took a real grip on the £10,000-to-the-winner Category One

Using the inside line to best advantage, Droopys Gold (pictured below, t1) stole a winning advantage and was never headed thereafter as he crossed the line one and a half lengths clear of Sporting Dave in 29.65sec for the 515m trip. Stuart Maplesden’s Waste House Eco stayed on well for third.

For Hove trainer Cahill, victory was a third Sussex Cup success given Loughteen Blanco’s 2013 success and Sporting Dave’s own triumph last year. Thursday’s achievement topped the list given the backstory to the September 15 whelp’s victory, whose track career looked in doubt after injury early last year.

“We thought he was finished as a young dog, after showing so much promise – remember he beat Magical Bale at Towcester doing 29.06sec and was third in the Puppy Classic at Nottingham,” said Cahill. “He was off the track for eight months, but Teresa (wife and assistant trainer) took him under her care, gave him plenty of rest, and he came back.

“He turns four in September but is running better now than ever probably. His semi-final time was his quickest at Hove and tonight he’s run another great race. I trained his sire Loughteen Blanco to win a Sussex Cup so that makes it special – but this dog deserves it himself – he’s won 35 times now from 64 races.

“He’s been a great servant to the kennel and I couldn’t be happier for him and the team. We actually own a half-share in Sporting Dave with Dave Dyer, but I’m happier for ‘Bullet’ to have won it – for himself. A greyhound of his ability deserved to win a major race but injury and bad luck looked to have denied him that – until tonight.

“We’ll look at the Champion Stakes at Romford for Droopys Gold now, maybe Sporting Dave too. There’s Yarmouth to consider, too, maybe for Dave – but we’ll see. I’m just delighted for Adam (Bunn) and the lads who own him – they’ve enjoyed themselves tonight and a young group of owners, which is always good for the game.

“But I’m also delighted for Hove itself – they’ve done a brilliant job here. With all the improvements, this is a track which could stage the Derby too. The investment has been terrific to see and we can all shout from the rooftops now that here’s a track the sport can be immensely proud of.

‘It’s great to be a part of it, but wouldn’t be possible without our very hardworking team. Staff are so important for kennels like ours and nights like this make the long hours worthwhile. We actually have a vacancy for a new team member – so hopefully something like this will nudge one or two people who might want to join us!”

Adam Bunn, who heads the Schilly Money Syndicate along with Daniel Read and brothers Dan and Dean Wilbrey, said: “This is amazing and we cannot thank Seamus and Teresa enough. He’s been a star this dog, right from the start when we bought him from the Dunphys.

“There’s been setbacks along the way but Bullet has been all-class throughout. It was great to win on Derby Final Night with him after he’d been unlucky at Notts during the Derby itself, but tonight of course tops that. Hove has been great. It’s been one of those nights we will never forget.”

Brian Murphy, stadium manager at the newly refurbished Hove, said: “Thursday was an exciting evening for all of us here at Hove – especially with six home-trained runners in the Sussex Cup Final.

“I know the owners and connections had a great evening in the newly refurbished restaurant here – the atmosphere was electric with a real buzz around the entire stadium which was great to feel given all the hard work here.

“The race itself didn’t disappoint. Droopys Gold had the early pace, but last year’s winner Sporting Dave ran a great race to chase him home to give Seamus Cahill first and second – his third Coral Sussex Cup win in seven years.

“I’d like to thank my colleagues for all the hard work and support put into the evening resulting in some outstanding feedback.”